One of my holiday traditions is to cook a romantic dinner for two the night before Xmas eve. The next morning we leave with a car packed full of presents to visit family, but on this evening we exchange our own gifts and have a relaxing evening to ourselves. I always ask Mr. Pretty Little Shopper if he has any special requests for dinner, and this savory Bolognese is often on his list. This recipe comes from the Williams Sonoma Italian Collection cookbook and is not only delicious, but is also surprising easy to prepare. The best of both worlds for a pre-Xmas dinner… an impressive dish that still leaves you with enough energy to finish wrapping any stray packages.
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the pancetta, onion, celery, and carrot and saute until the onion is golden, 4-5 minutes.
Add the beef and pork and saute over medium-high heat until lightly browned, 3-4 minutes. Add the stock, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, 35-40 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously salt the boiling water, add the pasta, and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta and transfer to plates. Spoon the sauce over the pasta and serve at once.
You can add fresh grated parmesan if you desire… these photos were taken immediately, before the cheese had time to melt as we were eager to dig in.
I served my dish over spaghetti squash as I am gluten-free.
Makes 3 to 4 servings, but I recommend doubling the recipe as you will most certainly want leftovers.
This and other exquisite Italian recipes can be found in Williams-Sonoma Collection: Italian by Pamela Sheldon Johns.
What are your holiday traditions?